Joseph Mallord William TurnerThe Interior of the Amphitheatre, Pompeii 1819

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
The Interior of the Amphitheatre, Pompeii
From Pompeii, Amalfi, &c., Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CLXXXV
Date 1819
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 113 x 189 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15770
Turner Bequest CLXXXV 18
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 18 Recto:
The Interior of the Amphitheatre, Pompeii 1819
D15770
Turner Bequest CLXXXV 18
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Inscribed by ?John Ruskin in blue ink ‘278’ bottom right and ‘18’ top right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXXV 18’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The Amphitheatre in Pompeii lies along the eastern perimeter of the city walls between the Porta di Sarno and the Porta di Nocera. First discovered in 1748 it was completely excavated in 1813–16 and represents one of the oldest and best preserved Roman arenas in existence. During Turner’s visit in 1819 it was virtually the only landmark of importance which had been uncovered on the eastern side of the archeological site. The artist made a number of studies of the structure, see folios 17 verso–19 and 27 (D15769–D15772 and D15788). This sketch depicts a view of the interior from the lower part of the terraced seating. The dark area in the centre of the composition represents one of the entrance passageways.
For further sketches and a general discussion of Turner’s visit to Pompeii see the introduction to the sketchbook.

Nicola Moorby
September 2010

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